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<<Are dividends distributed from directly-held stocks taxable in the same way as mutual fund distributions?>>

Yes and no. Mutual funds can pay capital gains dividends and exempt interest dividends; that's not possible for a regular corporation. There are some other special rules that apply to mutual funds but not regular corporations, for example the ability to treat a January dividend as having been paid in the preceding year. And the biggest difference of all: mutual funds get a deduction when they pay a dividend, and regular corporations don't. But as far as the shareholder is concerned, ordinary dividends of regular corporations are taxed the same way as ordinary dividends from mutual funds. Details on all the special rules for mutual funds can be found at:

http://www.fairmark.com/mutual/index.htm

Kaye Thomas, author
Fairmark Press Tax Guide for Investors
http://www.fairmark.com
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